“Two of the biggest check-writers in our business,” Palmer said.
The tour didn’t pick two of its biggest stars for two important clients, rather two players who understand what Pebble is all about. Bohn emailed them to arrange a practice round on Wednesday (rare unless the pros and amateurs are longtime friends), and they hit it off. Palmer and Bohn decided to splurge on a bottle of Caymus Special Selection if either of them shot 65 in the second round. Neither did. The next morning, a magnum was waiting for them on the first tee - a gift from Roberts.
Peter Jacobsen considers Pebble as important event as any all year.
“This combines all the elements we’re looking for when it comes to the PGA Tour - corporate involvement, amateur involvement, celebrity and fan interaction,” he once said. “It’s a combination of good fun and good golf.”
The celebrities are easy to spot. Some of the CEOs don’t get as much TV time, though they might be having more fun.
“There’s one group called the ‘Cut-Makers Dinner,’ where a bunch of these guys go out to dinner and people who made the cut have to pay,” Faxon said. “They’ve made this into a big deal. It’s a prestigious thing to pay for that dinner.”
One executive is said to have tipped his pro’s caddie $25,000 after winning the pro-am. It means that much to them.
Faxon shared the pro-am title in 2003 with Tom Ryan, the former chief executive of CVS/Caremark Corp. Ryan received a crystal set. Far more important, Ryan’s name is permanently on the rock near the first tee with the rest of the amateur winners.
Faxon didn’t appreciate how much it meant to the head of CVS until a few months later back home in Rhode Island.
“Later on that summer, Tom invites Dory (Faxon’s wife) and I to the Black Pearl in Newport,” he said. “We get there and he had the 45-piece crystal set on the bar and he was offering drinks to buddies who walked by.”